Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November's Landscape

October ends tonight, and the earth has already taken on a Novemberish look, involving various shades of brown and gray.  Because they are so rare now, flashes of bright color are especially welcome, and I was pleased to find a few on my walk at Woods Hollow Nature Preserve today.

The sandplain part of the preserve looked especially dull of color, with dark clouds lying low overhead and not a single beam of sunlight to brighten up the scene.




The once-radiant Tall Goldenrod now fills the meadow with its seedheads of ivory fluff.




In some ways, the distinctive feathery tendrils of Virgin's Bower gone to seed are more interesting than its rather nondescript small white summer flowers.




The moss and lichen beds that cover the sand are always worth a closer look.  Today I found Earth Star fungi among the Cladonia lichens.




There were many of these rusty colored gilled mushrooms growing right out of the dry sand.





How appropriate for Halloween!   These tiny bright-pumpkin-colored sac fungi were nestled into a patch of Haircap moss.




The forested part of Woods Hollow Nature Preserve has a lovely pond at its center, and here we find a habitat quite distinct from that of the sandplain portion.




Along the shore of the pond, the bare twigs of Winterberry shrubs are studded with bright red fruit.




Partridgeberry carpets the forest floor with its pale-veined shiny evergreen leaves and two-eyed fruits.





Although its pink flowerspikes have now turned brown, Steeplebush still puts on a pretty show with its gold-and-green leaves.




A moss-covered fallen log was sprinkled with these little jelly-like fungi, presenting a beautiful color combination of emerald green and butter yellow.




A log had fallen across the trail, stained with the distinctive color that indicates this wood was infused with the appropriately-named Blue Stain fungus.




We often find rotting logs stained with this dark blue-green color, but it's not so often we find the little ear-shaped fruiting bodies.  I searched this log and finally found a few very small examples.




Here's a surprise:  a baby Black-eyed Susan just coming into bloom, long after all other flowers have called it quits for the year.   At least, I think it's a Black-eyed Susan, with its very dark center disk and hairy-all-over appearance.  I have never noticed petals emerging like this, with the bases rolled up into tubes.


2 comments:

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Oh oh oh! me too! i actually find a little crop along a grassy ridge o the Earth star fungi, now i know what they are called, i shall take poeple there, and announce it as if i know a lot, he he he.
Also we have the jelly type orange and yellow fungi too.
Thats a beautiful picture of the lake.

Woodswalker said...

Oh Cranky, your comment made me smile! Thanks for stopping by. I shall check your own blog to see if you tell that story.